Chautauqua 2014 preview, closing up for travel and other random cool things that caught my eye of late.

Hacienda Cusin

Hacienda Cusín

Well, I’ll be back in Ecuador this summer and the coolest part of that trip is going to be the same as last time:

Chautauqua 2014!!

We all had a blast last year and the finishing touches are now being put on Chautauqua 2014. The biggest news is that this year there will be two.

August 9-16 is the one I’ll be attending and it will be modeled on the first, as I described here:


Hacienda Cusin 2

The view over the Hacienda rooftops

We’ll be returning to Hacienda Cusín because, well, everybody who attended loved this place!

Plus we got to party with people like these:

Chau - Pete's house party

And we got to skim off a big chunk of the revenue to help local people like these:

 Chau family by Rich

And go visit cool places like this crater lake:

Chau - crater_lake-300x170

Cheryl, Mr. Money Mustache and I will all be returning as your hosts and presenters. Joining us will be Jesse Mecham from Jesse was an attendee last year and having met him, and having seen his presentation at FinCon last October, inviting him to join the 2014 team was just too obvious.

This also freed up JD Roth to move over to the second Chautauqua August 23-30. Along with Cheryl and JD, David Cain of will host and present. Damn, I’m gonna hate to miss that one…

Last year’s event was truly extraordinary, and this was my take: Chautauqua-2013-a-week-of-dreams

Here are still other takes on this event:

Mister Money Mustache

JD Roth

Johnny Moneyseed

One life, many adventures

Carlos reports on the ERE forum

Anyway, for more details as they develop check out: Above the Clouds Retreats. That’s also where you can register should you decide to join us, and I hope you do. As before, this event is limited to only 25 people and last year it sold out in three weeks.

As for now, by the time you read this I’ll be in Mexico. We are returning to San Miguel after about 25 years. My pal Jeremy put this idea in my head with an invitation to stay at his $1000 a Month Home. But at the time, we had already booked our tickets to Guatemala for Christmas. And now he and his wife Winnie have moved on to Taiwan.

Screw it!

Going is still a good idea and while there we’ll get to catch up with Karl, one of the attendees at last year’s Chautauqua and a new friend. He lives and works in Queretaro which, as luck would have it, is the city we’ll fly in and out of. We even get to be there on his birthday, February 26th. All together now: Happy Birthday, Karl!!

Both these guys were key reasons behind our choice to go to Guatemala in December. Karl with his tales of the place and Jeremy with his classic post They will kill you for your shoes!

We had a grand time, so good in fact after our week in Mexico I’m headed back and will be there for the month of March. A few pictures will give you an idea as to why.


 Guatemalan children about to kill a tourist for her shoes. They even shared their orange, trying no doubt to create a false sense of security.

Gua street

 Gua street 2 Gua woman Image 5

When the risk to your shoes gets to be too great, this sign conveniently shows the way out.

Image 17  Gua lake  Gua two women Gua rest

Gua sunset

Gua girls

One more reminder of what those kids look like. Keep your eyes peeled.

Scary, but I’m going anyway…

…and, as regular readers know, I travel without a computer. Therefore the blog tends to go a bit dark while I’m gone. My phone will allow me to approve new comments as they come in, but the tiny screen and my lack of skill will keep all but my shortest replies on hold until my return.

No new posts or detailed answers over on Ask jlcollinsnh for a while either. Still, if you haven’t already, there are lots of mini-case studies to read over there. Plus may I suggest:

The Stock Series

The Case Studies

How I lost money in real estate before it was fashionable

Podcasts and Guest Posts 

Here are some thoughts on figuring the number you need to retire:

The number you need to retire safely?

The Rule of 300

Withdrawal rates: How much can I spend anyway?

Over 20 years ago Billy and Akaisha Kaderli hung it up and embarked on a saga of long-term slow travel across the world. They are still at it and as luck would have, we caught up with them in December in Guatemala. They are as fascinating as you’d expect, and we plan to meet up again on my return.

Since then, they have asked me to adapt two of my posts for their blog Retire Early Lifestyle:

One on My way of travel: Esperando un Camino

Another on Why Your House is a Terrible Investment

For more on Billy and Akaisha, check out their interview with the Mad Fientist.

And in case you missed it and on the off chance you’re interested, the Mad Fientist interviewed me, too.

So did Johnny Moneyseed: A man with F-you money

Since I’ll be traveling, why not you? Here’s the New York Budget’s wacky and wild Cheap Travel destinations for all 50 states. Maybe you’ll find a few to add to your bucket list.

Finally, here’re some random cool photos:

fawn rescue

Orangutan spear fishing



Other cool villages in Europe


Ancient Cart Ruts

Norilsk, Russia

 Norilsk, Russia

China houses

Houses in China


What the sky would look like if the Andromeda Galaxy was brighter.


Seems the Chautauqua has sold out for 2014. It took two weeks from the date of this post. Last year, it took three.

Cheryl is accepting people for the waiting list just in case a spot of two opens up and I believe there is still space available in the second one, but I won’t be there for that one.

We limit the number of attendees to 25 so we all have the chance to really spend time with each other. But unfortunately that means not all who want to get to come. Hope you’ll plan for next year!

My thanks to all who have taken the leap of faith and will be joining us. I look forward to meeting you. If it is anything like last year, we are in for a very cool time together!

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Important Resources

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    • jlcollinsnh says

      My pleasure, Dave!

      Would be cool to have you there one of these times.

      BTW, I am really enjoying your blog!

  1. Deacon says

    Not sure which is more enticing for the Chautauqua- the collective knowledge of those involved, or waking up to that scenery!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      What the people who attended last year said was that the best part was getting to spend a week with like minded folks.

      Seems very few of us have people in our daily lives who share the dreams and aspirations in discussed here and in blogs like MMM and JD Roth.

      But the ideas and scenery floating by were pretty cool too!

  2. arebelspy says

    The Chautauquas sound awesome, hope it fits into my schedule this year!

    Wish you and David were at the same one, would love to meet each of you. Not an easy decision. 🙂

    Enjoy your trip, and stay safe!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Yeah, I wish David and I were at the same one as well. Would be cool to meet him and it will be great to have you there!

  3. Done by Forty says

    Incredible photos, as always. For the second year in a row, I am going to be in South America but will miss the Chatauqua by a month or two. Such is life. I really should start emailing you a few months in advance!

    Thanks so much for the advice on Cuenca last year. We had a great trip. Any tips on Argentina? I’ll be in Peru for about 2 months, but we’ll take a week or two trip to Buenos Aires…maybe Uruguay, too. Any advice you can share would be welcome!

    Have a great trip, too!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Sorry you’ll miss it, Dby40, but you’ll have a grand time in Argentina and Uruguay.

      I’ve not been to either country so you’ll have to fill me in for my future trip. 🙂

      Glad you liked Cuenca! Did you get to Cafe San Sebas?

  4. Anita says

    I am soooooo jealous about the next Ecuador adventure. It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on and I know it’s going to be so much fun.

    Enjoy your travels!

  5. J. Money says

    Thanks for the shout, homeboy. Looking forward to the days I can fly out and meet you at some of these fun locales 🙂 Probably best I wait a while as to not drink up all your beers though…

    • jlcollinsnh says

      My pleasure MF.

      I look forward to recording another podcast with you for you site.

      Your posts just keep getting more and more impressive. It is an honor to be associated with you.

  6. tom erceg says

    I had the distinct privilege of attending last year. It was life changing, and at the same time extraordinarily fun. Jim is every bit as engaging in person as he is here on the blog. I can’t recommend the chautauqua highly enough.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Tom…

      Thanks for checking in and the very kind words. You and Amy brought a lot to the event and our great attendees like you guys really are what made it so very special.

      Hope our paths continue to cross!

  7. Tom Mullen says

    Enjoy the travels! Sounds like sun and fun….love the photo of that little dot of a park in the Chinese housing estate. Strange reality. The opposite of where you are going…

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks, Tom!

      That photo really was striking, no? Not a place I’d want to visit, or live, for sure.

      Travel safe!

  8. Justin @ RootofGood says

    Man, that chautaqua sounds sweet. We’ll be somewhere in central America but I don’t know if we’ll make it that far south to Ecuador. Maybe I can rearrange our itinerary some. I’d love to meet some of you guys (well, all of you guys).

    I think we’ll be somewhere in the Caribbean during the FinCon this year so 2015 might be the earliest I’ll meet all these other online personalities I’ve interacted with.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      It would be great to meet you one of these days, Justin.

      Enjoy your travels and who knows what little dive we might stumble across each other in?

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